Matt Barkley Decides To Return For His Senior Season At USC

Barkley set USC school records with a 69.1% completion rate and 39 touchdowns in 2011.

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Matt Barkley Returning To USC Means Trouble For Pac-12 Conference

Now that Matt Barkley has announced he will be a USC Trojan in 2012, it's time to look ahead for what kind of an impact it will have on the season. The Trojans were already one of the better teams in the conference this past season and many will have them ranked in the top-five to begin next season. Here's a look at which teams in the Pac-12 could change the Trojans next year.

Oregon, Stanford: The Ducks seemingly never run out of talent, but they will take a serious hit with the departure of LaMichael James and various defenders. Expect UO to be the biggest threat next season. The Cardinal may have had a nice three-year run, but it's tough to see the team maintaining their level of play without Andrew Luck at the helm.

Arizona, Arizona State, Washington State, UCLA: All three programs will feature new coaches next year, and while there is a considerable amount of talent returning in Tucson and Tempe, it's tough to see either of these teams competing with USC in the Pac-12 South without a few breaks along the way. Mike Leach will have his players ready to go, but it's going to take Leach some time to get enough skill players in the program to compete nationally. Honestly, does anyone know with UCLA at this point?

Washington, Utah, Cal: The Huskies and Utes could give the Trojans a run for their money, especially if both John White and Chris Polk return in 2012. Both teams will likely be ranked to begin the season. If the Bears are able to find consistent play out of their quarterback and skill position players, they could be a dark horse in 2012.

Colorado, Oregon State: Both schools are probably another year away, but you never know. Stranger things have happened.

As a whole, the Pac-12 projects to be pretty tough next season. It remains to be seen how Oregon replaces some of their impact players, but the Trojans will likely be relatively heavy favorites to win the conference if they can stay healthy.

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Matt Barkley Will Return To USC For Senior Season

Quarterback Matt Barkley has decided to wait a year for the NFL draft. With the USC Trojans marching band in attendance and flanked by Heisman Trophies at Heritage Hall on campus at USC, Barkley announced on Thursday he would return in 2012 for his senior season.

"The 2012 Trojans have some serious unfinished business to attend to, and I intend to play a part in it," Barkley said during his press conference.

Barkley threw for 3,528 yards in his junior season in 2011, setting school records by completing 69.1% of his passes and throwing 39 touchdowns. Barkley set a USC single-game record with six touchdown passes against the Colorado Buffaloes on November 4, then matched the feat three weeks later in a 50-0 win over the rival UCLA Bruins.

Over the last eight games of the season Barkley threw for 29 touchdowns and just four interceptions while the Trojans went 7-1 and averaged 40.9 points per game, with their only defeat coming in triple overtime against the Stanford Cardinal.

Barkley will likely be in the picture for the 2012 Heisman Trophy, and will return to lead a Trojans team that will likely begin the season ranked in the top five in the country and be overwhelming favorites to win the Pac-12 South Division.

In the last week, two of four USC juniors have decided to turn pro. Offensive lineman Matt Kalil and defensive lineman Nick Perry decided to leave for the NFL, while safety T.J. McDonald decided to return for his senior season on Wednesday.

To discuss Barkley and USC football, go to Conquest Chronicles.

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Matt Barkley NFL Draft Decision: USC QB To Make Announcement At 1:00 PM PT On ESPN

If you can't get down to Heritage Hall and get yourself a press pass for Matt Barkley's press conference this afternoon, ESPN will luckily be airing it for you to watch in the comforts of your home or office!

Thats right, ESPN will air Barkley's presser LIVE at 1 pm PT this afternoon on NFL Live, and of course, NFL insider Adam Schefter has already got the scoop:

4 pm est Matt Barkley announcement will air live on ESPN @NFLLive. ... Keep hearing he's staying.
Dec 22 via WhoSayFavoriteRetweetReply

 

There's lots of rumor and opinions on the Barkley subject, why not voice yours? Head over to Conquest Chronicles, the best place for Trojan fans on the internet to show off their fanhood. 

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2012 NFL Draft: If Matt Barkley Decides To Return, Several USC & Pac-12 Records In Play

Matt Barkley will announce his decision on whether to return to the USC Trojans for his senior season or enter the 2012 NFL Draft on Thursday at 1 p.m. PST at Heritage Hall. Should Barkley decide to return, he has a chance to set virtually every passing record in school history.

Ralph Drusso of the Associated Press pontificated that a USC squad with Barkley at the helm would be in the top four of the AP preseason poll, along with Oregon, LSU, and Alabama. Barkley would have a chance to play in a bowl game after the last two years without postseason play. In addition, Barkley could make his mark in the USC record book.

USC Career Passing Yards

  1. Carson Palmer 11,818
  2. Matt Leinart 10,693
  3. Matt Barkley 9,054

Barkley needs 2,765 yards to pass Palmer

USC Career Passing Touchdowns

  1. Leinart 99
  2. Barkley 80
  3. Palmer 72

Barkley needs 20 touchdowns to set a new USC record, something he did in his last five games of 2011.

USC Career Completions

  1. Palmer 927
  2. Leinart 807
  3. Barkley 755

Barkley needs 173 completions to pass Palmer.

Should Barkley return and pass all three, he would also hold the Pac-12 Conference record as well.

To discuss Barkley and USC football, go to Conquest Chronicles.

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2012 NFL Draft: USC Trojans Chime In On Matt Barkley Decision

With USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley having himself his own miniature version of Lebron's 'decision' Thursday afternoon, fans, spectators and pundits alike are trying to figure out whether he will stay for one final season of non-NCAA regulated collegiate glory, or declare for the NFL draft and cash in on his talents. 

Many past and present Trojans have their own two cents to toss in on this topic, let's take a look at what some of them have to say? 

Former Trojan QB Matt Lineart tweeted this earlier Thursday: 

What about a current player? Here's Marc Tyler's take:

I think Marc knows their BCS chances skyrocket if Barkley stays, why wouldn't they want him back? 

Here's former Trojan tight end Alex Holmes, with a very bold prediction: 

And what of cornerback Anthony Brown? Well, all he wants is his natty daddy...fact.

For more on the Trojans, head over to Conquest Chronicles. 

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2012 NFL Draft: Matt Barkley To Announce Decision Thursday

USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley will announce his decision on whether or not to return to school for his senior season in an afternoon press conference on Thursday, the school announced today. The press conference will be held at 1 p.m. PST at Heritage Hall.

Barkley is projected to be a top 10 pick in the 2012 NFL draft after setting a school record with 39 touchdown passes and threw for 3,528 yards in 2011. Barkley led the Trojans to a 10-win season, including a 38-35 road win in Eugene, Oregon against the Pac-12 champion Oregon Ducks, and a 50-0 drubbing of rival UCLA.

The deadline to declare for the NFL draft is January 15. Barkley's will be the fourth such press conference at USC in the last seven years. Matt Barkley decided to return for his season in 2005, but Reggie Bush (in 2006) and Mark Sanchez (in 2009) decided to turn pro. All three of the previous conferences were held at or near the January 15 deadline.

Fellow USC juniors, left tackle Matt Kalil and defensive end Nick Perry, have already declared for the NFL draft, while safety T.J. McDonald has decided to return for his senior season.

The allure for Barkley to return would be to helm a team likely to be ranked in the preseason top five. After two seasons without postseason play, USC is bowl eligible in 2012, something Barkley hasn't enjoyed since winning the Emerald Bowl in December 2009. In addition, Barkley is within reach of virtually every career passing record at USC should he decide to return.

We will find out Barkley's decision at 1 p.m. Thursday.

To discuss Barkley and USC football, go to Conquest Chronicles.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: USC Juniors Matt Barkley, Matt Kalil Projected Top 8 Picks

It's never too early to look ahead  and SBNation did so by posting its NFL mock draft.

The USC Trojans have a stake in this draft as two of the team's offensive cornerstones in juniors Matt Kalil and Matt Barkley are both being projected as top-8 draft picks, which is usually a sign that they both will look hard at declaring for the draft a year early.

Kalil is projected to go as high as no. 2 to the St. Louis Rams as the Rams look to continue to try to find an answer on an offensive line that should be arrested for a conspiracy to commit murder against forever-running-for-his-life quarterback Sam Bradford. Kalil could be the answer as he'd solidify the left tackle position.

Barkley is projected in the no. 8 spot to the Miami Dolphins who have searched for a franchise quarterback ever since the great Dan Marino decided to hang it up. Current Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore has been solid, but the prospect of bringing in a talent like Barkley is definitely something the Dolphins would consider.

But, of course, it's still early. This mock draft will change as the NFL offseason approaches. Stay tuned to find out where your favorite Trojans will go - or if they'll go at all.

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Heisman Trophy 2011: Matt Barkley Congratulates Finalists, Talks NFL Draft

USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley didn't make the top five for the Heisman Trophy, and as a result didn't get invited to New York City this weekend, but the junior took it all in stride. As much as Barkley matured on the field this season - setting new school records with 39 touchdowns and a 69.1% completion rate, making himself a rising star in the 2012 NFL Draft - it looks like he matured off the field as well.

"Congratulations to all the Heisman finalists," Barkley told USCTrojans.com on Monday.  "They are all great players, and I wish them the best this Saturday and with the rest of their football careers.  I thought we gave it a good run this year to get an invitation to New York for the ceremony, but more importantly I am really excited that our team's accomplishments are being recognized and we have now moved up to fifth in the rankings."

Saying all the right things, focusing on the team, Barkley is handling everything like a pro. However, he has a decision to make soon whether or not he will handle things as a pro in 2012 literally or just figuratively. Barkley is still undecided on whether or not to enter the NFL draft, and Monday began the process of getting all the information before making a decision.

Barkley and his family on Monday met with head coach Lane Kiffin and athletic director Pat Haden to discuss his future. "We met this afternoon with Coach Kiffin and Pat Haden.  By no means did I come to any conclusions today.  It was just the start of us gathering the facts.  There is a long way to go in this process and no timetable.  When I make my decision, I will let everyone know," Barkley said.

The five finalists for the 2011 Heisman Trophy are Andrew Luck of the Stanford Cardinal, Robert Griffin III of the Baylor Bears, Trent Richardson of Alabama, Montee Ball of the Wisconsin Badgers, and the Tyrann Mathieu, the "Honey Badger," of the LSU Tigers.

USC fans can only hope Barkley decides to return to Los Angeles for one more season to see if he can make the trip to New York at this time next year.

To discuss Barkley and USC football, go to Conquest Chronicles.

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Matt Barkley To Meet With Lane Kiffin, AD About Future At USC

As USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley weighs his options before declaring to enter for the 2012 NFL Draft, he and his family will have a sit down with head football coach and athletic director Pat Haden to discuss the possibility of returning to school for a fourth and final season. 

Barkley thrust himself into the spotlight earlier this season by taking out the Oregon Ducks at the Coliseum, making him the talk of the first round quarterbacks next season along with Stanford's Andrew Luck. The school should have some decent bargaining chips to work with though, coming off their postseason ban in 2012 and are primed with talent still. All they'd need is a QB to lead them, which may be enough for him to come back. 

The junior quarterback threw for 3,528 yards, 39 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2011, as well as completed more than 80 percent of his passes in the Trojans' final two games against Oregon and UCLA.

For more on the Trojans, head over to Conquest Chronicles

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Matt Barkley Files Paperwork For NFL Draft, Still Uncertain To Declare

The USC Trojans might have to be prepared for life without Matt Barkley. With no more football games left to play, the quarterback has taken the next step and filed his paperwork for the NFL Draft. Pedro Moura of ESPN Los Angeles files this report.

It's standard procedure for a draft-eligible junior. More than 150 players from across the country typically request evaluations each year. It also has been Barkley's plan for some time; he told ESPNLosAngeles.com earlier this month he would submit the paperwork soon after the season ended.

"Don't think too quickly. I think it's something that every top recruit, or potential draftee does before thinking about going out. It's just a kind of evaluation, I don't think it's even that detailed. Just listing a potential round that you'd go in," Barkley said on SportsCenter Wednesday night.

Barkley still says he's open to returning to USC, but it'd be pretty shocking to see him come back for one more year with his draft stock so high. Barkley figures to be a top five draft pick and among the top two quarterbacks selected with Stanford's Andrew Luck. To pass up on all that to come back for another season would be surprising.

There is a lot awaiting Barkley if he decides to return to college, with the potential of a national championship not that far out of reach. But at some point Barkley is going to be thinking of his pro future instead of his collegiate future.

To discuss Barkley and USC football, head to Conquest Chronicles.

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Matt Barkley NFL Draft News: USC OT Matt Kalil Will Probably Return If His QB Returns

Matt Barkley of the USC Trojans is still undecided about whether he wants to return to start his senior season on a team without bowl eligibility. He could have some added pressure as another potential top five draft pick on his team might make his decision based on what his quarterback does.

Left tackle Matt Kalil is considered the best offensive linemen in college football and has done a good job keeping Barkley safe on his blind side. Kalil has gone on record about what he might end up doing. Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Matts will decide separately, but Kalil anticipates a "chain reaction" that will result in the "double package" either moving on or staying put.

"We either both leave or we both stay," he said recently. "I think that's the way it will play out."

Said Barkley: "I think it would be a big factor but not a definite yes or a definite no."

Kalil and Barkley leaving would force USC to rebuild and retool their offense around new veteran leadership in the line and under center. Returning? The Trojans could win a national championship. A lot is riding on the decisions of these two on whether they want to restore glory to Heritage Hall or turn pro and take their talents to the next level.

For more on the USC football, hit up Conquest Chronicles. For more on the NFL Draft, go to Mocking the Draft.

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Matt Barkley NFL Draft News: USC QB Undecided About Turning Pro

Matt Barkley and the USC Trojans could do great things if the quarterback decides to return instead of declaring for the 2012 NFL Draft, which he's still undecided about.

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